by Yan Lei, Liu Tian
TOKYO, July 11 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese ruling camp led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has won a majority in Sunday's upper house election, which means Abe's coalition and like-minded parties managed to take thetwo-thirds majority needed to try to revise the nation's post-war pacifist Constitution.
The result came as no big surprise to the public, but as Abe sweeps away obstacles to amending Japan's pacifist Constitution, the development of the situation might still surprise voters, as with the ruling coalition controlling both chambers of the parliament, Abe now faces little political resistance in carrying out his political agenda.
Despite Abe and the LDP members' evasiveness on the issue during the 18-day campaign for upper house election, it is generally considered that changing the Constitution is still on top of Abe's political agenda, as Abe himself has repeatedly said that it is one of the ruling party's fundamentals since it came into being.
The LDP has been advocating constitutional revision as part of its platform since the party was founded in the 1950s. In 2012, the party released its proposed draft constitution, including changing the war-renouncing Article 9 which was drafted in response to Japan's wartime military aggression.
Abe's government has forcibly enacted the disputed security laws last year, enabling Japan to fight wars overseas, which is said to have shaken the foundations of the constitutional spirit represented by Article 9.
According to earlier local reports, Abe has expressed his eagerness to push for discussions on amending the Constitution from the next Diet session after the upper house election.
Sadakazu Tanigaki, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said Sunday night that the ruling party will start discussions on amending the Constitution in this autumn's Diet session.
The discussions might start from less controversial issues, such as emergency clauses, environmental clauses, and gradually move to the sensitive Article 9, said previous reports.
If the discussions go well as Abe wants, the fate of the pacifist Constitution will be up to a public referendum, which, according to observers, might be held before Abe ends his term as chief of the LDP in 2018.
"Japan has been a peaceful country for the past 70 years thanks to the pacifist Constitution. Now the pacifist Constitution is at stake. If the situation continues, Japan could return to what it was like before WWII," said former Imperial Japanese Army soldier Goro Nakajima, concerned about the fate of the pacifist Constitution.
"Abe has inherited some prewar thoughts from his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi who was a member of the militarist government of Hideki Tojo during the war, which is very dangerous," he said.
What could possibly impede Abe's plan would be an unfavorable referendum result. According to a poll by Tokyo News earlier this month, 40.5 percent of those surveyed are against revising the Constitution under Abe's administration, while only 28.9 percent are in favor.
But as referendums go, the result might still turn out a surprise for any party, with uncertainties always being a possibility.
Another obstacle for Abe's constitution-revision plan would be a possible split inside the pro-revision camp, including the ruling LDP and its coalition partner the Komeito Party, Osaka Ishin no Kai and the Party for Japanese Kokoro, after the upper house election.
Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of the Komeito Party, said recently that there was a "difference in temperature" on revising the Constitution within the ruling coalition, as Komeito's vision of how the Constitution should be changed is "different from the LDP."
"A nationwide debate over the issue of constitutional revision is so premature at this point that I don't think voters should be pressed to choose what they want to do with the supreme law," Yamaguchi said earlier in the election campaign. Enditem